As an employer of a domestic worker, it seldom happens that you try your best to retain a helper for an extended period of time. But sooner or later, one realizes that the domestic helper cannot fulfill your requirements by any means and you do not wish to continue with his or her services.
Domestic helpers in Hong Kong are seldom terminated owing to various reasons. Some are accused of neglecting children, of flinching objects at home, or some other reason. If this happens, employers need to settle the expenses involved and terminate the contract with the helper.
Terminating a domestic helper in Hong Kong
When you decide to terminate domestic helpers, one must give written notice and even provide them with one-month notice period along with a month’s salary for the notice to your helper. The notice period gives helpers sufficient time to find new employers.
Notify the Immigration Department within 7 days about the termination after a written notice is issued to your helper. After the termination, irrespective of the original expiry date on the helper’s visa, the domestic helper needs to vacate the premises and leave Hong Kong within 14 days of termination. If the termination occurs owing to relocation or financial reasons, then the contract is treated as finished. Issue a notification to the Immigration Department if these two cases come up in your predicament.
Understand the impact of termination and its seriousness, since it impacts both you and your helper. As an employer, you might have to hire a new domestic helper, and this leaves your children or aged parents unattended. You might need someone urgently to take care of them. If you have hired five helpers over two years, chances are that you might be blacklisted directly by the Immigration Department without much explanation. Helpers would have to return to home country and go through the entire employment process again. They would have to shell out all the fees again. Therefore, if one can solve the problem without termination, consider other options too.
Top 10 reasons why domestic helpers get terminated
1. Employers Leaving Hong Kong
Sometimes as an employer, you might have to relocate to some location, and you have no choice but cut short the employment contract of the domestic helper. If the employer himself decides to leave Hong Kong, the contract is terminated but helpers can be aided with other employment opportunities in Hong Kong itself for taking up after the notice period is over.
Additionally, as per government rules, your helper is eligible for severance payment if they have worked for you for at least five years and are not accused of any gross misconduct. Since the helpers are not dismissed or their contract is not renewed without redundancy, employers need to issue severance payment and long service payment that are roughly two-third of monthly wages, with respect to their years of service.
2. Deception, Lies and Misrepresentation
Some domestic helpers in Hong Kong are known to lie about their past work, skills and employment papers too. Sometimes the deception is carried on too far, with false references and misrepresentation on their behalf. For example, some helper could claim that they have worked with a previous employer for reference purposes and instead instate a fraud person to be their employer. Once any employer finds out, they can fire the helper immediately on account of deception, fraud and misrepresentation.
3. Ad hoc Abuse
It is rare but sometimes, domestic helpers misuse the freedom given to them by the employers. The domestic helper abuses her employers by staying out late, getting home drunk, by misbehaving with elders in the family or by not attending to children when no one is around. They might even shirk their duties or bring friends to employer’s house without taking permission from the house members, which is taking advantage of the leniency shown by the family. In this respect, any employer can terminate the helper from the job.
4. Disease and Persistent Ailment
Some domestic helpers have a chronic disease and ail from physical problem right from the start. Sometimes, they become unwell for a long time that might affect their work too. If a domestic helper is ailing from a physical problem more often than not, it means that they are unfit to work and cannot fulfill their duties properly. The employer has every right to terminate the employment contract if the problem persists more than ever.
5. Misuse and Robbery of Private Property
Some domestic helpers are also caught using their employer’s private stuff, even some electronic gadgets, beauty products and the like. If the incidents keep recurring without prior permission, they can be charged of unauthorized use of private household equipment. Usually, employers do not terminate a contract in case of one occurrence but if the misuse and small robberies continue taking place, they can terminate the employment contract.
The next five reasons that can get domestic helpers terminated will be mentioned in the forthcoming article.